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There's a place off Ocean Avenue

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There's a place off Ocean Avenue
Where I used to sit and talk with you
We were both 16 and it felt so right
Sleeping all day, staying up all night
Staying up all night

Shouta had no intentions in becoming friends with his noisy classmate, but somehow Hizashi Yamada had snaked himself thoroughly into his life. On their way home from school, they always found themselves buying soda at the convenience store down the street. Two blocks before getting to the station, they would stop at a small park and sit on a bench.

First it was until Shouta had finished a can.

Then it was until Hizashi finished a bottle

When summer arrived, they were at the park pass sundown.

By the time Hizashi had told him that it was Shouta’s obligation to eat cake with him on his 16th birthday, he had to give in to the fact that they were best friends. After eating cake, Hizashi had dragged them to the Tanabata festival in town. When they were writing their wishes on the Tanzaku and Hizashi refused to show Shouta what he had written, Shouta felt a foreign warmth tingling inside of him.

By the time it was Shouta’s 16th birthday, Shouta knew he was falling for with the blonde. Every time he felt Hizashi slightly bump into him, his heart skipped a beat. The rare moments he got to see Hizashi's eyes without any orange covering them, he felt as if his whole body was going to melt away.

And it was Shouta’s birthday that Hizashi had asked him out. It was also that same night that they had first kissed. It was short and sweet, but it would be the first of thousands that would follow.

 

There's a place on the corner of Cherry Street
We would walk on the beach in our barefeet
We were both 18 and it felt so right
Sleeping all day, staying up all night
Staying up all night

The three day weekend two weeks after Shouta’s 18th birthday, Hizashi had surprised him by taking him to a 3 day vacation to Okinawa. Shouta finally understood why Hizashi had been busy throughout their summer holiday and the weekends for the past few months. The Ryokan they had stayed at was totally runned down with paper thin walls, but Shouta secretly didn’t care at all. All that mattered was the beautiful sea, white sandy beach, and Hizashi.

The last night, they sat on the beach, staring at horizon, where the sea and the stars had met. Hizashi was uncharacteristically quiet. But it didn’t matter to Shouta. In Hizashi’s arms, feeling the other’s heartbeat, hearing his slow and steady breathing. It felt like forever, yet too short.
Suddenly, Hizashi had whispered into his ears.

“Close your eyes.”

“Mm’kay.” Shouta did as told.

Shouta heard some rustling. And a moment of silence.

“Okay, open your eyes? Please?”
Shouta opened his eyes. In front of him was an open black velvet box. Inside was a circular silver pendant, with a red stone that glistened in the moonlight. Shouta was speechless.
“I-i-its not a ring! I swear! I swear to-to god!!” Hizashi stammered. “It’s a pendent! So, um, it’s for your neck! To wear! It-it-s your birthday present!! A-a-P-p-pendent! Not-a-a ring!” Hizashi was getting redder and redder by the second, sweating like crazy. “Def-de-definitely not an en-engagemen-ment ring!! No! Nope! Not yet . . . I MEAN! I-I, uh, um-”

“And you call yourself a voice hero?” Shouta chuckled, as he leaned in to shut the other’s mouth with his own. “Thank you, put it on me.” He grinned against the other’s soft lips.

“Okay.” Taking it out of the box, Hizashi slipped it around Shouta’s neck. “That’s actually a ruby on it . . .”

“Um. OK?” Shouta was a bit lost.

“Hehe-” Hizashi nervously laughed. “Nevermind!”

 

As soon as Shouta got home from the trip, he googled what a ruby was. As soon as he figured out what Hizashi meant, he laughed so hard. But at the same time, he rushed to find the same necklace online, with a Topaz on it instead.
After it arrived, he hid it under his bed for the next few months, planning to give to Hizashi on their graduation day.


 

If I could find you now things would get better
We could leave this town and run forever
Let your waves crash down on me
And take me away, yeah yeah

Ten years later . . .

“I really like this song~”

“Me too!!”

“Did you guys know it’s actually a pretty old song? Like at least 10 or 15 years old!”

“Seriously? But you hear it playing everywhere recently!!”

“I know!! Was it re-released or something?”

“I don’t think so . . . Maybe it was used in a movie? I think?”

“Oh, yeah!! It was in a movie! But, I think it was getting pretty popular before the movie came out!!”

Hearing the banter of a group of barely legal girls drinking three booths down, Shouta sighed.
He couldn’t help himself from Drowning down half of his glass of beer.

“Aizawa-ku~n” Nemuri teased. “I know I was the one that asked you out for some drinks, but that doesn’t mean you have’ta get shit-faced as soon as possible!” She laughed.

“Whatever.” He mumbled.
Being an underground hero caused him to have a daily schedule that was the exact opposite of other human beings. He woke up as the sun set, and headed home as the sun started to rise. This naturally led to losing in a social life. Not that it really mattered to Shouta, but it seemed to matter to his Highschool friend, Nemuri Kayama. As an older sister type figure to him, she made it a point to check up on him all the time, and drag him out for food once in a while. For this specific Friday night, she had pulled him to a trendy Izakaya, with way too many types of beers to choose from.

“Did you know that my agency just hired a new hero? He’s actually really really cute! Tall, muscular~. Really pretty eyes~.” She wiggled her eyebrows.

“Planning to suck his soul for his youth, Sempai?” Shouta snorted.

“NO!” She jokingly sounded offended. “He’s also a hero that works at night, just like you. Soooooo, do you know what that means?”

“No.” He gave her a dry look.

“Wouldn’t you be interested in meeting him~?”

“No.” He said in an eve drier tone.

“Oh, come on Aizawa~.” She gave a long dramatic sigh. “What does a girl have to do to make her favorite boy become happy!?!”

“There’s nothing you can do . . .” He mumbled into his drink. He tried to ignore the piece of metal that felt heavy against his chest.

 

There's a piece of you that's here with me
It's everywhere I go, it's everything I see
When I sleep I dream and it gets me by
I can make believe that you're here tonight
That you're here tonight

The song he first heard 10 years ago, the morning after their graduation, now haunted him in his daily life. It was being played everywhere. Just walking into any supermarket, he could hear it being played as BGM. It had been on the national top 10 for almost a year. He guessed it wasn’t unusual. American songs seemed to always be popular in Japan.
Getting home after drinking with Nemuri for too many hours, he undressed himself.
Sitting on his bed in his underwear, he finds himself tightly holding onto the old piece of metal, attached to the chain around his neck, as tears silently rolled down his face.

He had almost never taken it off. The silver didn’t shine like it did when he first saw it under the moonlight. It didn’t matter. It was always tucked-away under his clothes or his hero gear, for no one to see, but himself.

Rubbing his finger against the small ruby, he looked over at his clock. 4:53 a.m.

Ritualistically, Shouta plugs in his earbuds, turns on the FM radio app on his phone and tucks himself into bed.

That voice that caused as much pain as it did pleasure to his heart, vibrates into his ears.

“Well, that’s about it, listeners!! Before we end it all, all you awesome listeners know how we gonna end it! That’s right! Juuuuuust like every week, heeeeeere comes my favorite song!!”
There as a vibrant laugh.
Cause, When I sleep I dream and it gets me by. I can make believe that you're here tonight.”
Shouta could hear almost no vibrancy in the voice’s singing.
“Remember to tune in next week for more Put Your Hands Up Radio!!”
There was hooting before the hard guitar intro faded in.

Before the second chorus, Shouta was already sound asleep.

 

If I could find you now things would get better
We could leave this town and run forever
I know somewhere, somehow we'll be together
Let your waves crash down on me
And take me away, yeah

It was treated like the scandal of the decade.

The rumor that Present Mic was retiring, as a hero and as a radio DJ.
Shouta didn’t know how he was supposed to feel. He wanted to be selfish and feel happy. The root of his pain disappearing. But as a pro hero, knew he was suppose to be disappointed.
It was around the time that even news started to do stories on the rumor that Tensai had come to see him. They hadn’t seen each other in at least 5 years. Why now?

“Aizawa, you gotta stop Yamada.”

“Huh?”

“You’re the only one he’d listen to! You’re the only he has ever listened to!!” Tensei was desperate, but Shouta couldn’t fully understand.

“The hell are you talking about?”

“We’ve been all trying to convince him to stop! But he seems to show no change in his decisions!”

“Stop him from what!?!”

“Stop him from retiring! Haven’t you seen the news? Or, even opened your phone? It’s plastered everywhere! Yamada is retiring!”

“That’s. . .It’s not just a rumor?”

“NO! It’s real! And, EVERYONE is trying to stop him!”

“Oh . . .”

“So, PLEASE! Aizawa. Please talk to him! You’re probably the only person that hasn’t tried to convince him! Please, just try!!” Tensei begged.

Shouta averted his eyes, and closed them. He let out a small sigh.

“No.”

“NO!?”

“I’m sorry, I can’t help.” Leaving a stunned and speechless Tensei, Shouta walked away.
Swiftly walking, he felt the cold metal bounce against his body. It was supposed to be spring. Why did everything feel so cold.

As he walked home, he felt warmth build up in the corners of his eyes. Just as old memories flooded his brains.


 

I remember the look in your eyes
When I told you that this was goodbye
You were begging me not tonight
Not here, not now

After their graduation ceremony, instead of going off with the rest of their class to celebrate, Shouta found himself next to Hizashi at their usual park. On their usual bench. After being silent for a few minutes, Shouta broke the silence by taking out a box out of his bag and handing it to Hizashi.

“Here . . . Your graduation present.” Shouta mumbled, trying to hide his blush.

“Shouta-” Clenching the box in his hands, Hizashi looked miserable. “Shouta, I can’t . . . I can’t accept it. . .”

“Hizashi?” There was pure confusion in his voice.

“We-we-” Hizashi trembled, looking up at Shouta’s face. “We need to break up.”

“Hi-Hizashi . . .? What do you . .. why?” Shouta tried to hold back tears, he wasn’t supposed to cry. He was a pro hero now.

“Because I love you . . .” Hizashi looked down, burying his face in his palms. “Be-because, it’s because I love you so much . . .”

“Then . . . Then why?”

“During my internship . . . at the start of this year, there was that mass murder . . .”

“Yeah . . . I remember . . .”

“I saw . . . I saw so many people being killed. Not only civilians, but so many heroes, too . . .”

“I know Hizashi, I saw it on the news.”

“But you didn’t see it in real life, Shouta!” Hizashi looked up at him once again. Face red, tears flowing.

“Hizashi . . . What does that have to do with . . . us?”

“It made me so weak! Seeing people die! Get hurt! I . . . If I get this weak just seeing people that don’t matter in my life getting hurt or killed, I can’t imagine how weak I would become if I lost the most important person in my life . . .”

“I’m also a pro hero now!” Shouta felt his body boil. “We are both pro heroes now!”

“That’s why! I can’t be weak! We both can’t be weak. . . .” Hizashi’s tears didn’t stop. “I love you, Shouta. I don’t want to be your weakness.” As even his face trembled, Hizashi tried to make a grin on his face.
Shouta didn’t want to understand what Hizashi was talking about, but he did. It was something that he hadn’t thought about. Was it something he just chose to never think about? Was it something he had avoided to think about, purposely? So many thoughts ran through his mind, as they sat in silence for a few moments, just breathing.

“Then . . .” Shouta smeared the tears out of his eyes. “Can I ask you one last favor?”

“Y-yes?”

“Can we spend one more night . . . together?”

“. . .Yes”

We're looking up at the same night sky
We keep pretending the sun will not rise

The roof of the Yamada household was very accessible from Hizashi’s bedroom window.
Wrapped up in Shouta’s sleeping bag and some blankets off of Hizashi’s bed, they laid side by side in each other's arms. Even if they were not so far from the city area, the clear weather had graced them with a beautiful night sky. They talked, as if it was any other time spent together. They talked about everything, from the terrible taste of the new soda being sold, to new American pop songs that Hizashi loved.

There were so many moments that Shouta wanted to beg Hizashi to change his mind, but he knew Hizashi. This wasn’t just something that Hizashi had thought of over night.This was something that he had thought about for a long time to make this decision. He loved the other boy and respected him just as much. Shouta knew he couldn’t stop Hizashi, and he wasn’t going to try.

As the sun started to rise, Shouta pulled away from Hizashi’s embrace. There was so much longing in Hizashi’s eyes, but he nodded while trying to keep a smile on his face.
As Shouta was about to stand up, Hizashi sat up and slowly took Shouta’s left hand, intertwining their fingers. Shouta felt Hizashi’s grip becoming firmer and firmer, trembling ever so slightly. He could see the tears appearing in the corners of the other’s eyes, as he bit down on his lips to keep them closed. Finally, as Hizashi let his mouth open, Shouta saw Hizashi’s lips ready to move.

To stop the other, Shouta leaned in for one last kiss. Short and sweet, like their first kiss thousands of times ago.

“I love you, Hizashi.”

“I love you too, Shouta.”

Using his capture weapon, Shouta swung down to the streets. Running toward the closest train station, never looking back.

We'll be together for one more night
Somewhere, somehow

As he got home, he started to unpack his bag.
That was when he noticed the box was gone. Instead was a CD case. Inside was a CD and a note, folded in half. Popping the CD into his laptop to listen, he opened the note.

To my most favorite person in the world,
I want to give you my most favorite song in the world.

I love you Shouta.
-Hizashi-

Shouta’s knees became weak. Falling to the ground, he couldn’t stop all the tears that flowed out of him. He covered his mouth, stopping himself from screaming. He didn’t want to hear his own voice, his own screams, filled with thousands of emotions. All he wanted to hear was the song that Hizashi had given him, as it played over and over and over.


 

If I could find you now things would get better
We could leave this town and run forever

A few hours after he gotten home from talking with Tensei, he heard the doorbell ringing. He was about to ignore it, until the furious doorbell ringing turned into furious door pounding. Annoyed, he ran to the door and flung it open, but in total shock when he came face to face with the person guilty of the annoyance. 
Shouta couldn’t help stepping backwards as the figure almost forced themselve into his apartment.

“Shouta . . .”

“. . . Hizashi.”
He hadn’t seen Hizashi in real life for 10 years. Of course, he’d seen Present Mic everywhere, but never Hizashi.
After all these years it looked as if nothing had changed, yet everything was different.

“Shouta . . . I came here to tell you that, I . . . I was wrong ten years ago.” Through his normal glasses, Hizashi’s green eyes pierced Shouta’s. “I thought that being with you would make you my weakness, but I was wrong.”

“What do you-” Shouta was cut off by the strong embrace of the other.

“Shouta, you were always my weakness. All these years away from you, loving you. All I could think about was you. I felt weaker away from you . . .” As Hizashi’s weight gave in, Shouta lead them both onto the floor. “I always found myself searching about you on the internet. Trying to find sightings of you . . . I know how rare they were, but I still kept looking for you . . .”

“Hizashi . . .” Shouta pulled the other off of him. “Stop it . . .”

“That’s why I’ve decided to retire.” There, was Hizashi’s weak smile, that Shouta could not help hating at times. “I thought that it was the right choice, you know, to break it off with you. I kept telling myself that I made the right choice! Even until the last moment I was with you! When you were about to leave my roof, even until the last second, holding your hand, I was so close to stopping you from leaving. Calling the break-up off!” Hizashi babbled on. “How many times over the years I wish I had! I wanted you back, and I felt myself get weaker and weaker. But I didn’t want to drag you into this. I didn’t want to also make you weak . . .I’m too weak. I can’t be a hero like-”

Shouta pulled in the other for a kiss. Started, Hizashi pulls away.

“Then take me back. I won’t be your weakness, and I won’t be your reason to quit.” He slid his hand up to Hizashi’s red cheeks. “And I won’t become weak because of you. I won't be your weakness, so you won’t be my weakness.”

“Shouta-"
Shouta reached up to Hizashi’s neck. Sliding his hands down, he felt a familiar metal circle under Hizashi’s shirt. Hizashi flinched as he figured out what Shouta had felt.
“Shouta! This . . . It’s . . .”

Shouta smirked, taking Hizashi’s hands and putting them against his chest.

Hizashi’s eyes grew wide as tears started to flow down his face. He grasped the back of other’s head to pull them into a hungry kiss. A kiss filled with all the feelings that both had suppressed for the 10 years apart.

I know somewhere, somehow we'll be together
Let your waves crash down on me

Pulling way, Hizashi wiped away the tears of of Shouta’s face.

“I love you, Shouta.”

“I love you too, Hizashi.”

“Then will you take me back?”

“Yes, you idiot, that’s what I just said!” Shouta laughed. Smiling, he put his arms around Hizashi’s neck. “You’re not weak Hizashi. And I won’t let you become weak, just because you’re with me.”

“Then!” Pulling away from Shouta, Hizashi hastily opened his bag. “THIS!!”
Hizashi shoved something small into Shouta’s face. It was a small black box, tattered with a few dents on the sides. The box looked as if it it was covered in velvet, but most of it had peeled off.

“. . . What is that?” Shouta asked very slowly, with precaution in his voice.

“It’s what I had originally gotten to give you on your graduation day. I wasn’t joking when I gave that , and said ‘not yet’ . . .” Hizashi warmly smiled and opened the box.  “Will you stay with me for the rest of my life?”

“Yes Hizashi.” Shouta smiled back. “All I wanted for the last 10 years was just that.”

Tears, now only filled with happiness, flowed down Hizashi’s cheeks. Taking the silver band out of the box, he took Shouta’s left hand to slip it onto his finger.

As the cold metal was set on Shouta’s finger, they both dove in for one more kiss.

And take me away, yeah yeah
Yellowcard, "Ocean Avenue"